Swine Southern Table & Bar is going whole-hog this week -- literally -- when it hosts its first Riesling Rebellion Dinner this Tuesday, August 6, at 7 p.m. The four-course dinner is $125 per person (excluding tax and gratuity), and reservations can be made by calling 786-360-6433. In addition to the slow-smoked whole hog as the third course, the meal will feature seven different Rieslings and other whites.
Allegra Angelo, beverage director for 50 Eggs, is a big fan of Rieslings and has curated a good collection of the wines, so we asked her a few questions on Rieslings and what we should look for when selecting one.
See also: Tastemakers: Allegra Angelo of 50 Eggs
New Times: Why did you choose to focus on Rieslings for the dinner?
Allegra Angelo: We are featuring Riesling as well as Sylvaner, Pinot Gris, & Roter Veltliner. Riesling is highly compatible with a wide range of flavors, especially pork, which is savory and fatty -- in a good way. In the thick dredge of the summer, I can't think of a better way to cool-off than drinking Riesling.
Rieslings have a reputation for being flowery or sweet. But there is actually a great range. Can you tell us what we should know about Rieslings?
Firstly most Riesling, even in Germany, is dry, but the fruity more sweet styles are some of the most fulfilling wines in the world. People are afraid of the word "sweet." Yes, these wines do have a little bit of sugar, but it's more about how a wine tastes, finishes, and ends. Rieslings have a tartness and feel like a freshly squeezed lemonade on a hot day. I call this affect the "toothbrush" affect... yes they are sweet but they have acid and snap which leaves you feeling cool, clean, and fresh.
Rieslings can also be a good value. Can you suggest two Rieslings to try at Swine and why?
There is so much value in Riesling from all around the world. Some of my favorites right now at Swine are Dr. Loosen "Gray Slate" from Germany's Mosel Valley ($31 a bottle). It's fruity, with a touch of good sweetness. I also like Domaine Mittnacht from France's Alsace region ($44 a bottle), which is less fruity, more stone-y, and dry.
What should you look for in a Riesling since they are so varied?
Whether you prefer dry or a little sweet, look for a Riesling that has personality and expression. It could be an explosion of lemon and peach candy that finishes clean and stone-y or maybe the taste of ripe pineapple and guava that finishes with lime-y rock candy. And most importantly, pick something that you like, something you like to drink not just to taste, regardless of gossip or social trends.